So I was watching some World of WarCraft last night. It was some high level play, a forty player raid in Molten Core. I arrived right before the raid reached Majordomo Executus. There were two computers up with the same They had Ventrilo up on one of the speakers and I was amazed at the amount of chatter. It felt like being in the movie representation of a war room, only much geekier.
There is talk about what is going to happen in the encounter, who is supposed to do what at what point in the encounter, which groups do what, who is in which group, who is responsible for healing, and then finally there is the ready check before all of that planning gets thrown out the window and there is just plain madness, people doing whatever they feel like, and the numerous deaths before trying over again.
Best line over the chatter last night was heard when the main tank was in danger of dying, delivered in an absolute Star Wars commander deadpan:
All power to forward shields.
They downed Executus’s guards with a brutal fight, but then wiped at the Ragnaros encounter itself after getting him down to thirty-seven percent. A good attempt, but by the guild and raid leader’s admission, it was sloppy, and placement seemed to be an issue. I didn’t stick around to see if they did down Rag, but I was still impressed with the amount of coordination necessary.
Sure, the graphics when fighting Ragnaros are incredible, but I was more impressed with the amount of work that went into organizing forty players. I was fortunate enough to be at the guild leader’s house (with two machines set up and participating in the raid) and was amazed at his numerous user interface plugins for overseeing damage output by each member of the raid and watching the hit point status of every single member of the raid. There was also the pen and paper for guild members on the “bench” who were waiting to get into the encounter if someone was determined not to be doing their job.
It does take forty people to down Ragnaros, and all members need to be doing their job—I heard many times over the chatter and saw in whispers that it was “nothing personal” but player characters needed to be booted from the raid for various reasons, for instance, low damage output.
It is definitely a lot of work, and it shows how WoW is dependent on social interaction.
I’d love to be a part of that, but I just don’t have the time.